Back in April, Fox29 and NBC10 started exploring the idea of sharing video and helicopter time as a cost-saving move. Today, the parent networks said the arrangement would become formal, effective Jan. 1, and would spread to the Fox and NBC news outlets in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Dallas and Washington, D.C.
Executives were not prepared this morning to speak to the media. In a statement, the parent companies said, "The service will gather and distribute general market video coverage to the participating stations, allowing them to efficiently use resources to focus on more specialized franchise reporting. The stations will continue to operate independently in all other respects regarding their individual newsgathering operations."
Further, the statement said the footage "will be available to interested local media outlets in each market, including television stations, print publications, radio stations and digital media."
In April, Fox29 general manager Mike Renda told me: "The last thing we want to do is reduce competition." He said that sharing nonbreaking video would have a "viewer benefit" because it would allow each station to devote more resources to enterprise coverage.
"It's not unlike the pool arrangements that already exist at the network level," NBC10 news chief Chris Blackman said in a memo at the time.